State-Run Revitalization Program Launched for Georgia’s Tea Industry

IMERETI REGION, Georgia – Georgia’s Ministry of Agriculture on Monday officially launched a state-run program aimed at rehabilitating the country’s once roboust tea growing industry with the creation of the Velvet Tea Company in western Georgia’s Imereti Region.

Located on 10.5 hectares of land, the Velvet Tea Company will be fully financed and outfitted with equipment for tea processing free of charge.

Implementation of the program began with the support of the government’s Partnership Fund, the Ministry of Agriculture and two Chinese companies – Beijing Jinfenghengye Agricultural Development Co and Xinjiang Hualing & Trade (Group) Co in 2016.

The program plans to rehabilitate 7,000 hectares of land owned by Georgian tea plantations.  

In addition to the rehabilitation, the program includes plans to develop ecotourism based on the indigenous tea growing industry. The Chinese companies have also expressed interest in building a large factory in Georgia to produce tea-based products that can be used for exports.

The total rehabilitation works’ cost are estimated at around USD 12,000 (25,725 GEL). According to official accounts, the government funded 80 per cent of the full price of the project, or USD 9,600 (20,580 GEL). .

By Eka Karsaulidze

Edited by Nicholas Waller

06 June 2016 22:45